Elena Valencia-Barbosa is originally from Horn Lake, Mississippi. While most people discover their passion for research in a lab, she found hers in a quite different setting. Under the mentorship of Associate Professor Emerson “Keith” Bowers, she studied bio-behavioral ecology, as a field assistant, on birds indigenous to the Tennessee area that included: Carolina Wrens, Chickadees, and Prothonotary Warblers. She hiked the wooded trails of the Meeman Biological Station, running into snakes, ticks, and when she was lucky, majestic pouncing deer. She has the opportunity to observe intricately designed nest boxes filled with eggs, nestlings, and fledglings under the watchful eye of their parents.
Valencia-Barbosa's interest in clinical research started with a fascination in the long-term effects of disease that impacts avian population. After she completed her undergraduate degree, she continued pursuing clinical research by working with St. Jude LIFE, a study that focuses on prospective, longitudinal cohorts and looks for trends in late effects of treatment of childhood cancer, with the goal of improving outcomes and quality of life for childhood cancer survivors.
“The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program will teach me the fundamentals of clinical research by providing mentorship and training in the development and implementation of efforts to improve clinical outcomes.”
BS, Biology – University of Memphis (2022)
BS, Spanish – University of Memphis (2022)